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California General Engineering (A) Contractor License

The California General Engineering (A) contractor license allows you to work on irrigation, drainage, water power, water supply, flood control, inland waterways, harbors, docks and wharves, shipyards and ports, dams and hydroelectric projects, levees, river control and reclamation works, railroads, highways, streets and roads, tunnels, airports and airways, sewers and sewage disposal plants and systems, waste reduction plants, bridges, overpasses, underpasses and other similar works, pipelines and other systems for the transmission of petroleum and other liquid or gaseous substances, parks, playgrounds and other recreational works, refineries, chemical plants and similar industrial plants requiring specialized engineering knowledge and skill, powerhouses, power plants and other utility plants and installations, mines and metallurgical plants, land leveling and earthmoving projects, excavating, grading, trenching, paving and surfacing work and cement and concrete works in connection with the above mentioned fixed works.

How to get the General Engineering (A) contractor's license in California?

  1. Determine Eligibility: Each license requires a qualifier who directly supervises and controls the construction operations conducted under the license. Must be at least 18 years old and have four years minimum journeyperson, foreperson, supervising employee, or contractor work experience, in the last 10 years, in the General Engineering (A) trade.
  2. Verifying Work Experience: After meeting the basic eligibility requirements, the qualifier could be randomly selected to provide documentation that they meet the minimum work experience requirements. Having this documentation ready beforehand can make this process easier if your application is selected for review. The experience listed on the application must be verifiable, and people with firsthand knowledge of that experience must certify the accuracy of the information provided to CSLB on the Certification of Work Experience form.
  3. Complete Application: Must fill out the Original Contractor, Additional Classification, or Replacing the Qualifying Individual application form.
  4. Submit Application and Required Fees: For the current list of fees visit the California CSLB Fees page .
  5. Fingerprint Requirement after CSLB Review of Application: For information on fingerprinting, visit the CSLB Fingerprinting Requirement page.
  6. Schedule the Exams: Once the application is submitted the CSLB will send you a 'Notice to Appear for Examination." Upon receipt, the business exam and a General Engineering (A) exams must be scheduled and passed.
  7. Contractor Bond: All applicants must submit to CSLB a contractor bond or cash deposit payable to CSLB in the amount of $15,000. CSLB does not issue bonds.

The CSLB will either issue your license or contact you if they need further information.

California General Engineering (A) Contractor License Exam Prep Courses

California General Engineering (A) Contractor License Exam

Below are the specifications (test type, academic content, etc.) for each exam needed to get the General Engineering (A) contractor's license in California.

California General Engineering (A) Exam

  • Testing Method: Computer-based testing; closed book
  • Testing Company: CSLB
  • Types of Questions: Multiple choice
  • Subjects Involved:
    • Planning and Estimating (19%)
      • Interpreting plans and specifications
      • Code compliance
      • Evaluating job sites
      • Coordinating projects
      • Estimating costs for materials, equipment, and labor
    • Structural Principles (5%)
      • Constructing structures
      • Seismic requirements
      • Basic engineering
    • Earthwork and Surveying (14%)
      • Surveying job sites
      • Preparing job sites
      • Assessing soil conditions
      • Assessing soil compaction and expansion
    • Subsurface Work (20%)
      • Shoring and sloping excavations
      • Preventing erosion
      • Tunneling, drilling, and boring
      • Installing pipelines
      • Connecting and testing systems
      • Connecting dry utilities
    • Foundation and Concrete Construction (10%)
      • Constructing forms and falsework
      • Placing and finishing concrete
      • Installing pilings and foundations
    • Buildings, Structures, and Related Work (9%)
      • Installing mechanical systems
      • Installing plumbing pipes
      • Installing electrical systems
      • Demolition, disposal, and recycling
    • Roadwork and Paving (5%)
      • Base for highways, roads, and parking lots
    • Safety (18%)
      • Personnel and job site safety
      • Personal protective equipment (PPE)
      • Hazardous material safety
  • CSLB General Engineering (A) Study Guide

California Law and Business Exam

  • Testing Method: Computer-based testing; closed book
  • Testing Company: CSLB
  • Types of Questions: Multiple choice
  • Subjects Involved:
    • Business Organization (10%)
      • Company organization
      • Project organization
    • Business Finances (15%)
      • Cash management
      • Budget and planning
      • Taxes
      • Financial reporting
    • Employment Requirements (12%)
      • Employment regulations
      • Evaluation and record-keeping
      • Payroll
    • Bonds, Insurance, and Liens (10%)
      • Bonds
      • Workers’ compensation insurance
      • Liens and other remedies
      • Other insurance
    • Contract Requirements and Execution (23%)
      • Bidding
      • Cost control
      • Contracts
      • Payments
    • Licensing Requirements (8%)
      • Business license
      • Contractor’s license
      • Activity regulation
    • Safety (15%)
      • Training and reporting requirements
      • General safety
      • Hazardous/unknown materials
    • Public Works (7%)
      • Prevailing wage requirements
      • Bonding requirements
      • Insurance requirements
  • CSLB Law and Business Study Guide

California General Engineering (A) Contractor Book Set

The book set includes all source references for the California General Engineering (A) Contractor exams. You can use these books to study for the exams but you are not allowed to bring these books in with you to the testing center. These tests will be closed-book. Orders placed before 2 PM are shipped the same day via UPS and a tracking number is emailed before 3 PM.


    Sales price: $2,527.23

    Sales price: $2,627.23

California General Engineering (A) Contractor Exam Books

California Law and Business Exam Books